Shape-controlled conversion of β-Sn nanocrystals into intermetallic M-Sn (M = Fe, Co, Ni, Pd) nanocrystals

Hawn Chou Nam, Raymond E. Schaak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Scopus citations


The ability to control the shape of metal nanocrystals is critical to applications such as catalysis, magnetism, and plasmonics. Despite significant advances in controlling the shapes of single-metal nanocrystals, rigorous shape control of multimetal nanocrystals remains challenging, and has been limited largely to alloy systems of similar metals. Here we describe a robust strategy that produces shape-controlled intermetallic nanocrystals involving elements of notably different reduction potentials, reduction kinetics, and reactivity. The approach utilizes shape- and size-controlled β-Sn nanocrystals as reactive templates that can be converted into binary M-Sn (M = Fe, Co, Ni, Pd) intermetallic compounds by reaction with appropriate metal salt solutions under reducing conditions. The result, demonstrated in detail for the FeSn2 system, is a variety of nanostructures with morphologies that include spheres, cubes, hollow squares, U-shaped structures, nanorods, and nanorod dimers. Our experiments demonstrate a size- and shape-dependent reactivity toward the formation of hollow FeSn2 nanostructures and provide empirical guidelines for the formation of other intermetallic nanocrystals. In addition to those of FeSn2, nanocrystals of intermetallic PdSn, CoSn 3, and NiSn3 can be formed using this same chemical conversion strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7339-7345
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 13 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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